Big-D's Random Review #1
2003.1.11

Greetings, and welcome to the inaugural "Random Review." I realize that a lot of people out there like to do the in-depth weekly reviews on current shows...that's all well and good, but I think it would be largely redundant if this was another one of "those" columns.

So, what I aim to do is to, at least weekly, take a tape out of my collection (granted, it's about 99% from the WWWhatever, but there's sill some gems in there. I figure, it's at least worth something to pick something out of the blue, and see how it stands up. Now granted, I'm not an "insider". So if you're looking for that, you'd better move on. My opinions are totally unqualified. Additionally, if you have anything that you want to get "randomized" let me know :)

Then, without any further delay, onto the goods!

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Tape: WWF's Prime-Time Tribute to Hogan
aka "March to WrestleMania VIII"
Original airdate: 3.92
+++++++++++

Now, before I get started, I remember some of what was on this tape, but I think that two different versions were televised. I think there was this one, and another that had a different set of matches (Hercules with an impromptu face match against Sid Justice?). If anybody out there remembers, let me know.

++Clips of Hogan winning his first title++

Vince is in the studio. Nothing really to note, except that he claims that Hogan's prayers, vitamins et. al are "the very core of American traditional values" Ooookay. I mean, those things are all well and good, but let's not overstate things.

++Hogan vs Andre, WrestleMania III++
Picked up with Hogan's intro, and Monsoon and Brain are on a voice-over. I loved Gorilla and Heenan, but Gorilla and Ventura were probably tops on my list. Brain says that they had to work out hand signals, Gorilla helpfully infers that maybe Andre didn't want to listen to him. Heh. Hogan is just getting pounded out there. Brain trashes Andre, and then covers his tracks by saying he was "clearing his throat". Okay, that's good stuff. Hey, Hogan is still getting his ass kicked. Andre misses a headbutt in the corner, and the momentum has turned. Jeez, this match is slow. Hogan misses a charge, and now it's so slow, it's like going in reverse...and now it's a resthold. This is ridiculous. This bearhug has been going on for over 2 minutes. And to think that Bagwell got canned for using restholds, but not to this extent. Zzzzzzzzzz. Brain rolls out another "big dummy". Now they're on the outside, and Andre ends up headbutting the ringpost, in the general sense of the word. HOGAN GOES FOR A PILEDRIVER ON THE CONCRETE, BUT IT'S 1987! AND OF COURSE, IT DOESN'T WORK! Back in the ring, and Hogan hits the biggest bodyslam in history! Legdrop, and it's over. Bad match, but monumental on a historical level.

On a side note, and to glance over something I'll talk about in a later column, the set design was very simple, but effective. I think the state designs today may be a little too elaborate. If they could do something like the "old days" for this WrestleMania, that would kick ass, especially if they bring back the ring carts.

NEWS FLASH: WBF BODYSTARS DEBUTS THIS SATURDAY AT 11/10C ON USA!!!

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Recap of the angle leading up to Hogan's first "final" match at WrestleMania VIII. Sid joins Hogan for a posedown at SummerSlam 1991. Sid dumps Hogan at Royal Rumble 1992. WM VIII press conference, and Sid is just a little miffed that Hogan gets the title shot, and Sid cuts an incoherent promo. And then, he cuts another incoherent promo, and then leaves Hogan high and dry during a rather famous edition of SNME. The last one, if I recall. Brain notes that if Sid punches Beefcake, there will be a "faceoff." Heh. Sid terrorizes Beefcake on "The Barber Shop." Sid makes a statement by beating Virgil (heh) and breaking his nose. Clips of Sid vs. Hercules on 2-23-92.

Note: Unless anybody out there still thinks I'm like, cool, or something, I marked out big when Herc came out to his 1989/1990 music for this match.

Yeah! A first-run match!
The newly-turned Shawn Michaels (w/Sherri) vs "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.
Brain with the classic whistling bit when Michaels comes out, and the crowd goes fairly berserk for Piper. I believe this is a non-title match, but I couldn't quite make it out. Sherri looks up Piper's kilt, and Piper slaps Sherri on the ass. Shoving match. Shawn backs puper into the corner, and then Piper spits his gum at Shawn. Hehehe. More shoving, and then the obligatory slap-fest. Michaels with a running cross-body, but it's reversed into a pin. Piper goes for an atomic drop, but Shawn reverses it into a sweet rolling cradle. Piper with a monkey flip, and Shawn completely oversells the post-shot. Ew, as Piper "lays the smack down" on Sherri.

Commercials, including a classic milk commercial, and am as for "Thunderheart" and "Jake Spanner, Private Eye" Has anybody seen either of those movies, because I sure haven't.

Back to the match, and Michaels clotheslines Piper out of there, and rams him into the USS (unforgiving steel stairs). Running double ax-handle off the apron, and it's fistacuffs! Michaels with some kicks and punches, and a 2-count. Headlock, and he hits the reverse crescent kick. Michaels goes for the teardrop suplex, and it backfires. Classic oversell as Michaels lands laying across the corner, gets kicked, and lands in an uncomfortable manner on the top rope. Ref bump, Sherri takes off the boot, and Michaels clocks Piper, and now the Hitman is on his way! Hart throws in the boot, Piper swings and misses, but gets DQ'ed anyways, and Piper is pissed. He tries to tell Bret off, but Bret throws the belt into the ring and leaves. Fun match, with some of the classic antics.

YEAH! Recap of the classic Savage/Flair angle! If anybody doesn't know, Savage was my personal fave during his WWF run. And Liz used to be quite the looker.

Jumpin' Jim Brunzell vs. Ric Flair (non-title)
I couldn't figure out why they didn't push Brunzell or Jim Powers more, or make a tag team out of them, because they had to be the only jobbers outside of maybe the Brawler that ever got any offense in. Lockup goes nowhere. Brunzell witha side headlock, reversed into a pin a couple of times, and now Flair with a thumb to the eye. Chop in the corner, followed by stomps, a belly-to-back, and a kneedrop.

Hey, you too can call the WrestleMania VIII hotline at 1.900.909.WWF8. I am so there! Brain inquires if you can call collect. Hehe.

Back to the match, and Brunzell with some punches and a backdrop. He hits his dropkick, but only gets 2. Flair with the atomic drop on the leg, and the figure-4 wins it.

Vince interviews Liz at her house. Nothing of note here. Except that Vince rools out "besmirched" a long time before Regal even hit the scene.

Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior, WrestleMania VI.
Voice-overs again on commentary. Boy, this match starts a lot slower than I remember. I mean, given the participants, it was probably warranted. But shoving and tests-of-strength can only get you so far. Hogan gets the first power move (bodyslam) but it's no-sold, and now Warrior gets one. Hogan sells a knee injury, so Warrior lays in some kicks. Hogan fights back, andI guess his knee has miraculously recovered. Monsoon notes that Warrior was wise to roll Hogan back into the ring, since you can't win the belt on a count-out. This is the kind of thing that is sorely missing from commentary these days. A couple of pin attempts by higan, and it's chinlock time. Warrior fights back, and they hit each other with probably the most memorable double-clothesline in history. Warrior with a snap suplex, and now a bearhug. Ergh. Nothing else to add that you haven't seen before, as Warrior with the splash to win the belt.

Another incoherent Sid promo. They have the market cornered tonight.

Recap of the Jake/UT angle.

Jake Roberts vs. Jim Powers
Man, Jake's heel music was cool. I liked how they patterned it after his original theme. Powers with a headlock, Roberts with a belly-to-back, but Powers holds on. Jake with a whip, and he sends Powers over the top rope. Jake misses the short clothesline, Powers fights back, but eventually falls victim to the DDT. Brain says that Jake should DDT McGuirk. Good idea, as long as he hits Lillian Garcia with one too.

Natural Disasters vs. Barry Horowitz/Kato
Jeez, one guy with talent, and he's going to get killed in there. Kato gets powerslammed by Quake. Ouch. Horowitz gets the tag and gets the vertical splash for his trouble.

Vince interviews Hogan. Once again, nothing of note.

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I have to think of a clever name for the summary/recap, but here goes:

The good: Although all but one of the first-run matches were of the jobber variety, they actually were entertaining. They didn't seem to plod along like a lot of matches these days do. Granted, Flair and Roberts were around their heelish prime, and their antics made them even more enjoyable. I still dig Michaels' constant overselling, especially the corner shots. And the Flair/Savage stuff is great.

The bad: Although the Hogan matches are important on a historical level, if it was anybody else, I think they would have been booed out of the building. Still a shame to see Paul Diamond wasted, especially being fed to the Disasters.

The ugly: Too much Sid. Enough said.

This is my old project, THROWDOWN.

A group of friends and I put together this little project in 2003 as an outlet of out collective rage and anger about the subjects that each of us cared about. I was the editor-and-chief and games writer back then.

It was a blast to do and it to be involved in a great collaborative effort using the strengths of my friends was simply amazing. I hope you have fun reading our work as much as we had in creating it.

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